Knitty: little purls of wisdom
beauty shot


Eye pillows block out light, but they can also help relax the eyes through warmth, cooling, and/or aromatherapy. These eye pillows are knit in stranded colorwork from the top down and grafted together at the top. I filled mine with 1 cup of filling so they are still slightly baggy and stay put on my face better.

But you don't need to restrict them to your face! They're also good sachets to keep pests out of your stash, and helpful for relaxing shoulders, necks, and jaws. Chill or microwave (for 30-60 seconds) to use on sore or tired muscles.

spacer model: Ruth Roland
spacer photos: Jeff and Ruth Roland


Height: 3 inches
Width: 9 inches



Black and White version
spacer [MC] Debbie Bliss Eco Baby [100% organic cotton; 136 yd/124 m per 50g skein]; color: White 01; 1 skein
spacer [CC] Cascade Ultra Pima Fine [100% cotton; 136 yd/124 m per 50g skein]; color: 3754 True Black; 1 skein

Blue and Yellow Version
The Unique Sheep Green Sheep Sport [100% organic superfine merino wool; 330 yd/301 m per 100g skein]
spacer [MC] Harvest Moon; 1 skein
spacer [CC] Midnight; 1 skein

Recommended needle size
[always use a needle size that gives you the gauge listed below -- every knitter's gauge is unique]
spacer US #2/2.75mm needles

spacer scrap yarn -- optional, for use as stitch holder
spacer funnel
spacer 1-1.5 cups filling (rice, buckwheat, or flax seeds, mixed with lavender, herbal tea, mint, etc.)
spacer yarn needle



28 sts/40 rows = 4 inches in stockinette stitch
28 sts/40 rnds = 4 inches in the round over Chart D

Gauge is firmer than ball band gauge to help keep filling from falling out.


[Knitty's list of standard abbreviations and techniques can be found here.]


All slipped stitches are slipped purlwise with the yarn at the back of the work.

To keep the filling from falling out, it is important to carry both yarns on all rows, catching unused yarn in the work every fourth or fifth stitch throughout the chart patterns.

The gauge is very firm, so be sure to take breaks and stretch your hands regularly.

Find more details including hand stretches and filling options here.

Instructions for Judy's Magic Cast On can be found here.

Instructions for grafting can be found here.

Directions and tips for stranded colorwork (Fair Isle) can be found here.

A tutorial for catching the strands can be found here

Weaving in Ends from The Right Side
The pattern requires you to weave in the ends from the right side, once the piece is stuffed and the final seam closed. You can do this as follows:

1. Thread a tapestry needle with the yarn tail.
2. Insert needle into knitting and bring from the Wrong Side through the middle of a stitch to the Right Side.
3. Take needle over the bar of that same stitch, up behind work to the right, and through the middle of the stitch two rows up and one column to the right.
4. Repeat Step 3 four or five times.                   
5. Take needle over bar of stitch, behind work, and through middle of next stitch to the right.
6. Turn work upside down and take needle over bar of same stitch (above the needle), up behind work to the left, and through middle of stitch two rows up and one column to the left, making sure to come up through the middle of the upside-down stitch: ^ on knit side, u on purl side.

7. Repeat Step 6 two or three times.
8. Take needle over bar of stitch and a long way behind work, coming up to the Right Side without piercing the knitting.
9. Pull tail firmly so knitting gathers slightly and cut tail close to work. Adjust work so tail doesn't show.

More detail on this technique can be found here.

spacerchart keyCharts
The charts for this pattern are very large and fit on a letter-sized page.
Click here and print the resulting page. An additional chart and the key is at right.

The Black and White version uses charts A (first) and B (second).

The Blue and Yellow version uses charts C (first) and D (second).


Eye Pillow
With MC, using Judy's Magic Cast On, CO 63 sts to each needle (starting with the top needle), then one more to the top needle. 127 sts total.

Note: Just cast on -- do not knit. If using the linked tutorial, stop in the middle of Step 9, just before the word "Knit."

Rnd 1: K1, [sl 1 (pwise wyib), k1] to end.

Rnd 2: K2tog, sl 1, [k1, sl 1] to end. 126 sts rem.

Add CC, and begin charts as follows:
Work first chart across the first half of the round, and the second chart across the second half of the round.

Note: Do not knit more than 4 sts of any one color without catching the unused yarn. On solid-color rounds, catch the unused color every fifth stitch. To keep from stacking "catches" on consecutive solid-color rounds, on alternate rounds k2, catch the unused color, then catch every fifth stitch.

Continue as set until charts are complete.

Leaving a 36-inch-long tail, break MC. Break CC, leaving a similarly long tail.

Weave in ends, but not the long MC tail. Slip sts to scrap yarn (or leave on needles as appropriate) and wash or steam and let dry.

With long MC tail, graft together 56 stitches from each needle. 14 sts rem (7 sts on each needle).

Insert funnel into eye pillow in hole left by ungrafted stitches and pour in filling. Use the tip of a knitting needle to help poke it through the funnel into the pillow. Graft together remaining sts and weave in remaining end.

Allow to dry thoroughly. Spot clean when necessary.


designernamespacer Ruth Roland especially enjoys experimental colorwork, avant-garde texture, and unique constructions. She also loves music, words, and naptime.

Catch up with her on the Kangath Knits blog or on Twitter @kangathknits.